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Places to see, things to do in Fulton Co.
Rochester: Settled in 1830; county seat since county was formed in 1835. Trail of Death passed down Main Street on Sept. 5. 1838, with so many Indians walking single file they stretched from one end of town to the other. Elmo Lincoln, born here 1889, was first Tarzan in 1918 movie. Cole Brothers-Clyde Beatty Circus had winter quarters here 1935-40; when buildings burned Feb. 20, 1940, elephants ran down Main Street. City Park, located on the west edge of Rochester, site of many family reunions, formerly a county fairgrounds 1850s-1950s: oval drive was a half-mile track for trotting and pacing horse races. Round Barn Festival since 1971.
Fulton County Courthouse: Built in 1895 for $100,000. In 1975, it was repaired at a cost of $60,000. The style of architecture is Richardsonian Romanesque. The stone lions were carved on the spot by a German sculptor, Hedrick, whose 10-year-old son acted as interpreter. Historical markers: Rochester College 1895-1912, veterans memorial lists names of all Fulton County soldiers killed from Civil War to present. Trail of Death historical marker commemorates Potawatomi Indians, who were forcibly removed in 1838. In 1995, the original cornerstone was opened and placed on display in the ground floor; a new cornerstone was created outside the northeast corner. Underground Railroad marker erected in 2010.
Akron: Founded July 4, 1836, by caravan of pioneers led by Dr. Joseph Sippy. Historical plaque for Indian trails crossing on side of post office. Pike Memorial Park: sports fields, play equipment, shelters for reunions; Akron Community Center; Akron Community Square, established in 2005 on south side of Rochester Street with benches, historical markers; Tippecanoe Valley School district.
Tiosa: Town named for a Potawatomi Indian chief who had a reservation here prior to 1838. Town burned in 1895; grew slowly since.
Talma: Only town named Talma in United States. Historical marker on east side of Indiana 25 at north edge of town; former site of Talma School, which was destroyed by 1974 tornado.
Fulton: Town settled in 1850. Fulton County Public Library branch and Fulton Community Center located here.
Fletcher Lake: Named for John Fletcher, early settler.
Grass Creek: Post office established in 1884, closed in 1992. Grass Creek depot built in 1907; Grass Creek Lions club moved depot to town for a community center.
Kewanna: Settled in 1837. First called Pleasant Grove, then Pinhook; name Kewanna adopted in 1871 when town incorporated. Named for Chief Kee-Wau-Nay whose Potawatomi band lived near here until 1837 when they were conducted to Kansas by George Proffit.
Lake Bruce: Originally named Lake Kewanna, the Potawatomi word for prairie chicken. Chief Kewanna's village was on the north side of this lake. A treaty was signed here in 1837; George Winter painted portraits and scenes of the Indians before they were moved West.
Nyona Lake: Named for Nyona Shaffer, whose father ran a restaurant here beginning in 1921. In the 1930s, race drivers Louis Chevrolet, Cannonball Baker and others built a dance hall here. It burned in 1948 but was a lively, popular place during the bootleg liquor days.
Leiters Ford: William Hunter was first settler in 1840, named a ford in the shallow Tippecanoe River Hunter's Ford; name changed after John Leiter bought it. Fulton County Public Library branch located here.
Delong: Originally platted Marshland in 1884; changed to Delong in 1894 to honor the first railroad agent.
King's Lake: Named Shadle's Lake until Kings bought it in 1910. Creature similar to Manitou Monster sighted in 1896.
Lake Manitou and Tiptonville historical marker: Located by Lake Manitou dam at northwest corner of lake. Manitou Monster was sighted near here in 1837. First white settlement in county built here in 1827. Dam rebuilt in 1990 after big flood.
Manitou Islands Wetlands: Created in 1977, now more than 693 acres of natural habitat for birds and wildlife, includes Judy Burton and Bob Kern nature preserves.
Lakeview Park: Located on north side of East Ninth street; formerly Mill Race park, then a federal fish hatchery built in 1935 by the WPA; now includes municipal golf course, round barn golf pro shop, swimming pool. Mill race still seen between park and street.
Manitou beach: Located on south side of East Ninth street, with nearby pavilion, rest rooms and butterfly garden.
Community Center and Fulton County Library: Located on Seventh and Pontiac streets. Senior Center and other organizations located in community center, built in 1993, Transpo garage added in 2013. New library built in 1984, addition in 2007.
Woodlawn Hospital: Built in 1978-79; replaced hospital near downtown Rochester established in 1905 by Dr. Winfield S. Shafer; one-mile fitness trail connects to Rochester Pathway, making a total of two miles for hiking by water and trees and monument for first white woman to die in Fulton County, Elizabeth Lindsey. New addition to the east built in 2009. Adjacent medical building opened in 2013.
Fulton County 4-H Fairgrounds: Located on West Third street, built in 1950. Site of 4-H Fair in July. Equestrian Center for horse shows built in 1995.
IOOF Cemetery: Located on West Third street. Two historical grave markers - the Birds and Bees Man, Isaac Washington Brown, 1848-1914, placed by Indiana Audubon Society in 1931; Herman Daake, 1889-1948, founder of Safety Legion of America in 1938, placed by Erie Railroad Employees in 1949.
Pioneer Park: Historical marker for the Bicentennial and in memory of those who lost their lives in the April 3, 1974, tornado. Lions club building located here.
Geneva Center: Conference and retreat center for the Wabash Valley Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church USA. Located on rolling wooded acres on the west side of Old Highway 31, five miles north of Rochester. It caters to families, churches, groups and Elderhostels.
Prill School Museum: Restored one-room school, built in 1876. Located on Fort Wayne Road and 700 East.
Millark Mill: Built in 1860 by Henry Hoover family which built several mills, named towns and gave name to Henry Township.
Trail of Death Historical Marker: Erected in 1976 by Rochester Boy Scout Troop 285 to commemorate the first death of an Indian baby on the infamous forced removal of the Potawatomi from Indiana to Kansas, conducted by William Polke of Rochester. Site of camp beside Mud Creek Sept. 5, 1838, second night of march. George Winter, famous artist, sketched the scene. Dedication speech in 1976 was by Gov. Otis Bowen, native of Fulton County, whose great-great grandfather, Constant Bowen, came here in 1836.
Herrold Farms: Located just east of Grass Creek; one of the oldest farming and dairy units in the county, operated by Dale and Mark Herrold.
Michigan Road and Trail of Death Historical markers: Located at Tippecanoe River on Old Highway 31. One mile east was the Chippewa-Nung Indian village where Potawatomi signed 1836 treaty selling land, which led to Trail of Death removal in 1838. Site of first night's camp on Trail, which crossed county north to south on Michigan Road. Site also of first village and first post office in county: Chippeway. William Polke had a trading post here on south bank and was first postmaster in county.
Fulton County Museum and Round Barn Museum: Located four miles north of Rochester on U.S. 31. The 35 acres along Tippecanoe River is site of annual Redbud Trail Rendezvous last weekend of April, Historic Power Show third weekend of June, Trail of Courage Living History Festival third weekend of September and Haunted Woods Walk the second and third weekends of October. Leedy/ Partridge/ Paxton round barn was damaged by tornado, donated to Fulton County Historical Society, moved and restored in 1991, now a museum of farm tools and implements. Richland Center Memorial Hall was added to north end of museum in 2008, meeting rooms for rent. Living History Village: Called Loyal, Indiana, assembled on Fulton County Historical Society grounds four miles north of Rochester on U.S. 31. Portrays 1900-1925, includes 1832 William Polke house-stagecoach inn with historical marker for first frame house in county, Old Time doctor's and dentist's office, 1920s general store, print shop museum, windmill, Rochester Bridge Co. iron foot bridge, blacksmith shop, Pioneer Woman's Log Cabin Museum, 1876 Rochester Depot Museum, 160 feet railroad track, caboose and boxcar, railcar and garage, Kewanna jail, Athens cider mill, octagonal corn crib and round brooder house.
Germany Bridge: Original iron truss bridge 1879-1979, listed on National Register of Historic Places. New bridge built in 1980, boat ramp and picnic grounds owned by Fulton County Parks.
Richland Center: From 1933-65, the school here was the community center for this rural township. The high school's 1950 basketball team went undefeated in its season and then won a regional championship in the state tourney. Historical marker erected in 2009.
Fulton County Historical Society - Round Barn Museum, four miles north of Rochester on U.S. 31, built 1924 for Bert Leedy by C.V. Kindig Construction Company, damaged by tornado, donated by Larry Paxton to FCHS and moved to museum in 1989.
Smiley-Wade, 1098 Dogwood Drive, east side of US 31, built 1915 for John West. Don Smiley founded & published National Appaloosa Pony Inc. magazine in 1963
Sult-Mike Jones, 5128 E. 700 North, built c. 1920 by Kindigs.
Haimbaugh Family Inc., four miles north of Rochester on west side of Indiana 25, built 1914 for John Haimbaugh by Kindigs.
Ron Clauson, 4699 N. 450 East, built 1912 by Kindigs, destroyed by tornado in 1974 when Lloyd Clevenger owned it. A rectangular barn was built on top of the round basement by Amish volunteers.
Utter-Northrop family, 825 East, built 1915 by Oliver Utter. Received Hoosier Homestead Award in 2013 for being in same family over 100 years.
Jones-Coon, 1200 West, Fulton-Pulaski county line, built 1912 by Tom Jones.
Wideman-Gerig, Mill Race Golf Club's pro shop, East Ninth street, built 1910 by Wideman Brothers, donated by Dr. John Gerig, moved and restored 2001 in Lakeside Park, Rochester.
Source: Fulton County Historical Society.
Note: Privately-owned round barns are to be viewed from the public road. Please get permission from owners before entering; do not trespass.